UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, who went viral after an insane floor routine, is cutting Michael Jackson’s music from her new choreography after the sexual abuse allegations came into the forefront via the Leaving Neverland documentary.
The 21-year-old became a social media sensation in January when she won her first 10.0 of the year for her MJ medley routine. In a new routine on Friday (March 22), she cut the legendary musical performer’s music from her mix, citing she felt uncomfortable dancing to his music following the HBO documentary.
Leaving Neverland initially aired in late January and highlights the stories of Wade Robson and James Safechuck, who claim Michael Jackson molested them when they were children. Jackson has been accused of having inappropriate relationships with young boys for decades, even before he passed away in 2009.
Ohashi was asked if the fallout from Leaving Neverland led to the music change, she replied. “Honestly, in the back of my mind it did.”
“The goal of my routine is pure joy, and after the documentary, not everyone was feeling that way, and you can never discredit someone's feelings. So yes, it was in the back of my mind because my main goal is to find as much joy as possible in this routine,” she told ESPN. “I just really wanted a women's empowerment routine because it's a big part of my platform.”
Ohashi, along with her coach, instead put together a new music routine promoting all female artists. “Katelyn and I have been talking about having two routines this year ever since this summer,' UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field said to the sports news network. “It was a little bit of a hard decision once we saw how much people enjoyed her routine. Could we top it? It was hard enough to get music that could top last year's routine.”
See Katelyn Ohashi viral routine and her updated one featuring music from all female artists below.
Photo: Katharine Lotze/Getty Images